Look Who's Hating

To the Editor of the New York Times:

Re: "Look Who's Talking" (editorial, Feb 19):

The sly and ever biased Mr. Thomas Friedman presents us with the following innuendo (carefully arranging himself first to take no responsibility for it). "Let us imagine the world if America had listened to the French and German logic saying: Give the murderers of the Serbs and the Arabs a chance for a diplomatic solution. Would Bosnia, Kuwait and Iraq be liberated?"

This sort of absurd questioning of reality is on a par with the sort of propaganda we were submitted to a year ago, when it was suggested again and again and again that France had given nuclear weapons to Iraq. Students of history will recognize the "big lie" technique, as exposed by Doctor Goebbels during an age one hoped long gone. The technique Mr. Friedman uses to quote others to present alleged "facts", without taking any responsibility for them, was massively used by the Nazis (The "Protocol of the Wise Men of Zion" and similar vicious fabrications against Jews allowed the Nazis to build up anti-Semitic hatred).

Just to help Mr. Friedman and the New York Times to get a better grasp on reality: some Serbs in Bosnia were murdering Bosnian Muslims, not the other way around; French guns prevented them to annihilate Sarajevo, years before US military intervention, which had been urged by Great Britain and France (who had troops and armor on the ground in Bosnia already).

Out of six allied divisions liberating Kuwait in 1991, one was French (and one British). Massive inversions of history and inventions accusing others of the opposite of what they did have only helped, historically, the moral equivalent of Nazis, of which the West has known plenty enough in the last 25 centuries. People like Mr. Friedman may be obsessed by some nationalities and agendas they think they help by imagining a parallel universe of lies, but justice will know it not. The careful cultivation of hatred through inverted or invented facts creates reactions on which war feeds, and wars rarely finish the way those who started them wanted them to finish, as Mr. Friedman, historically an ardent supporter of the brute force invasion of Iraq without intelligent negotiations, will find out soon enough.

Patrice Ayme', Feb 2004